Tuesday, September 02, 2008

“The key to either great purpose or great destruction lies in where we choose to sustain our focus. Knowing this fact should move us to jealously guard our intimacy with the Lord.” by Bill Johnson, Sr. Pastor, Bethel Church - Redding, CA (from “Strengthen Yourself in the Lord“)

Great purpose or great destruction? I know which sounds better to me! Great purpose. And if the key to great purpose lies in where I sustain my focus, rest assured, my focus is on the Lord. But is my focus a sustained focus?

Does my focus on God keep from yielding or failing when I'm tested by life's stresses? Does my focus on God abide and nourish and comfort me constantly? Does my focus on God hold me up, support me during the tough times?

How can I be sure my focus on God in a sustained and constant state of use?

S - surrender to God the times that I would rather be doing something else.

U - understand that intimacy with God is important to my daily walk with Him.

S - seek the solitude I need to concentrate on that intimacy with Him.

T - talk about my time with God with others.

A - accept that there are times when I will fail and have to begin again.

I - intentionally set a time for meeting with God in prayer and reading/studying His Word each day. Keep it as I would a doctor's appointment or any other important appointment.

N - navigate through the day with God as my central focus, keeping Him in first place in all that I do.

God desires our intimacy just as we desire intimacy with God.

"I will give them a heart to know me, that I am the LORD. They will be my people, and I will be their God, for they will return to me with all their heart." ~ Jeremiah 24:7

We desire to be close to God because He called us to be close. We want to hear from Him and show Him how much we love Him through our thoughts, words, and deeds.

"God, who has called you into fellowship with his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, is faithful." ~ 1 Corinthians 1:9

As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God. ~ Psalm 42:1

Jealously guarding our intimacy with God should move us to be less conformed to the world.

"Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will." ~ Romans 12:2

Intimacy with God takes away the desire to live with our focus on the things that threaten to steal our love for the Lord and give our love to things like tv, reading, and other things. I'm not saying television or reading is bad for you. I love a good episode of Murder, She Wrote, for instance, but if I watch it all day long and don't make time for God, bad Laurie Ann! I love to read, but if I read four books a day and one of those books isn't the Bible, again, bad Laurie Ann!

Finally, jealously guarding our intimacy with the Lord will also move us toward His great purpose for our lives.

"And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God's possession—to the praise of his glory." ~ Ephesians 1:13-14

I believe we each have different purposes to live out in our lives, but our one common purpose is salvation. Praise God for that!

Commit with me to jealously guard your sustained intimacy with Christ as we pursue His great purpose for us.

In "Other" Words Tuesday's is hosted by Michelle Bentham this week. Please visit her blog and read the takes she and the other participants have shared. I hope you'll choose to participate, too.


Michelle Bentham said...

Great Post, Laurie Ann. Loving It!

You nailed this post and this quote. Thanks so much for sharing today. I love the acronyms and the Scriptures you shared. I'll be chewing on them for a while.


Patricia@Typing One-Handed said...

I'm bookmarking your blog. What a great way to identify the word sustain. I love acrostics. Somehow a truth can be remembered better if I see a visual representation. Thank you.

Denise said...

Awesome my friend.

Tiffanie said...

Great (and thought provoking) post. I really like "N". I am writing it on a Post-it and putting it on my mirror.